Verse > Anthologies > Alfred H. Miles, ed. > Women Poets of the Nineteenth Century
Alfred H. Miles, ed.  Women Poets of the Nineteenth Century.  1907.
IV. In Extremis
By Emily Pfeiffer (1841–1890)
I LOVE to feel your hand, beloved,
  I love to feel your hand;
Then hold me fast until we part
  Upon the gloomy strand,
And I upon the silent sea        5
Go forth alone from love and thee!
I love to see your smile, which says
  What else you dare not say:
It gilds for me the gloomy shore,
  It seems to light my way.        10
Brave love, keep back your tears awhile
That parting I may see your smile!
Oh, let me hear your voice, beloved,—
  Your face I see no more!
That tender voice still sounds above        15
  The breakers of the shore;
And for a space may follow me
Out, out upon the silent sea!
One kiss upon my lips, sad lips
  That cannot kiss thee back,        20
Let love proclaim his bitter truth—
  Bear witness on the rack!
One kiss, the longest and the last,
Resuming all the sacred past!
Oh love that seems to rise as rise        25
  The waters of that sea,
To rise and overflow, and float
  My soul, O God, to thee!
Thy voice, thy smile, thy kiss, thy breath,
Beloved, have rapt my soul from death!        30

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